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I keep a bottle of Radox on the side of my bath, usually this one, which is to "Restore Harmony" but I like it because it smells of lavender and is very refreshing to use in the evenings to calm me down before bed time. I have tried a number of difference Radox Therapies, and generally I do quite like this brand. One really good thing about Radox is it's cheap. Often I can get this bottle, which is 500ml, for around a £1. Even at full price of around £1.80 it's not expensive for it's size. I don't have baths all the time, usually I use the shower for quickness, so a bath is a treat or to help relax me or if I have backache, therefore I tend to add rather generous amounts to the tub so it gets very foamy! Even so, at around a bath a week this lasts me a about 4 or 5 months. I'm not sure there is any actual medical benefit to using it, it's a therapy in the loose sense of the word. It's a combination of the scent which is calming and relaxing as is the hot water and "you" time which makes it feel relaxed. I really like the smell of lavender, and this is quite a strong scent. There is also apparently waterlily in there, however I can't detect this scent. When using this my bathroom is flooded with a nice lavender smell as well as the water and the scent remains on my skin after I have dried off. This bottle is a tall square shape, which is handy as it fits into the corner of my bath, against the wall without taking up too much space. The bottle is clear and the liquid which is quite think is a semi-transparent purple colour, to match the lavender. The cap is easy to screw on and off and is not child proof. If you can get this Radox therapy on offer for £1 then try it, it's a great buy for the price!
For myself I buy the blonde version of these grips, however my five yer old daughter has much darker hair than me and since she seems to have lost of my blonde grips I had to buy some more the other day and so went for the darker ones as they do look far better in her hair I use these grips when I French plait my daughter's hair, to help hold in her hair in at the back and sides on her head, plus to hold her part grown out fringe into the plait. Usually I need three grips on each side which will generally keep the French plait looking nice all day, unless she pulls it out as the girls in her class seem to be into playing with each other's hair at breaks and loosing the hair grips and bands! On swimming day I put her hair in a bun which needs to be gripped all round as this enables the teacher or assistant to easily get her swimming cap on and seems to be the best way of keeping her hair dry in the cap whilst she is swimming. I always get my hair grips from Boots, never even considered getting them from anywhere else. I do like Boots own brand hair stuff and have a number of hair clips and grips from there as I find them to work well and are good quality and well priced. The hair grips are a very simple design, just a bent strip of metal coated in brown matte colour plastic(?) covering. The bottom part of the grip is straight whilst the top of the grip has three waves in the metal which helps it stay in the hair. Both ends of the grip have a "bobble" at the end so that the grip doesn't scratch your head with the sharp edge of the metal when putting them in. These are the smaller "essential" version of Boots hair grips however boots also make a large version of this grip. I have only ever bought the smaller version as these are perfect for what I need them for. They come in a pack of thirty, displayed on a piece of purple card which is more than enough grips to be going on with. For holding a bun in I will use about 8-10 grips. A pack of 30 costs £1.49, which is good as my daughter has lost about a pack worth in about 3 months. The grips are easy to use. Depending on how I want the grip positioned in my own or my daughter's hair I will either slide it in, usually at around a 45 degree to begin with then once it is a little way into the hair push it down flat towards the head so it goes further into the hair it needs to grip and is flat to the head, or sometimes I will stretch the chip open before I get it into mine or her hair. These grips are durable and last years if you don't lose them. I do find the occasional grip gets a bit bent, ending up in a "v" shape rather than both sides of the metal grip closing back in to touching each other. All in all a must have for women for long-ish hair and for little girls who go swimming and have part grown out fringes.
A few days ago I wrote a review on Boots coconut and almond shampoo, which I rather liked and suited my hair. I had forgotten about Boots coconut and almond range until a month or so ago when I red a review on Dooyoo about it. I used to use this a lot when I was a student as it was cheap and I love the smell, so when I saw it in Boots about a month ago I purchased both a shampoo and conditioner. The conditioner comes in a clear 300ml bulbous bottle with a good flip top which is easy to open and dispense the shampoo from. The conditioner is a think which liquid, rather like thick coconut milk, so it doesn't run out between your fingers when you squeeze it out - it needs to be squeezed out the bottle due to the thickness of the liquid. The smell is delicious, just of coconut, you can't smell any almond and smells very natural, not like some coconut products which are very artificial smelling. I find the shampoo left my hair feeling really clean and for around £1.25 a bottle I would recommend it. The conditioner however, I have had less success with a need to use quite a lot to get my hair de-tangled. I'm sure when I bought it before it worked better, perhaps they changed they ingredients, or perhaps my hair has changed over time. My hair does smell lovely after using both these products together and I find I can smell the coconut on my hair all day, which is nice and makes me feel really clean. I think I will give this conditioner a miss in the future. As I have long curly hair I need a conditioner which instantly detangles my hair on application in the shower otherwise it is very difficult and painful to get the tangles out with a comb. Somehow my hair didn't feel soft after using, despite me using quite a lot of conditioner, two applications sometimes to try and get my hair more conditioned. There is an intensive conditioning mask which I would like to try out, and I do like the shampoo, so perhaps the intense mask may suit my hair better? That can be for another review! For £1.25 I guess you get what you pay for - shampoo recommended, conditioner is so so but I wouldn't buy it at full price again, only if it is on offer.
I always keep an "emergency" deodorant in my desk draw just in case I forget to put it on one morning or end up getting extra sweaty from running around between buildings. My last one ran out so I went to Boots opposite my office and saw Garnier "mineral" which looked like a good size for my desk draw plus it was on special office, I think for about £1.80. It smells really nice of a clean, fresh floral scent which I can smell on my clothes after wearing them. It is a very slightly pink semi-translucent thick liquid which comes out when you roll it across your armpits and the roller dispenses the deodorant easily and evenly. The bottle is a slightly unusual shape in that the upper part is quite flat and thin, which the lower part, including the lid and roller ball being more bulbous. The deodorant stands upside down as it were, so the liquid is at the bottom above the roller ball, which is handy as you don't need to shake it if you have kept the bottle upright. It's supposed to be a 48 hour intensive deodorant, I cannot comment on this, but it certainly lasts a full day and stops me getting sweaty or smelly! It's also alcohol and paraben free and must be ok for sensitive skin as I have used a number of deodorants in the past which have either dried out my underarms or made them itchy. This hasn't upset my skin at all. I would definitely buy this again, especially if it is on offer. At full price it seems to be around £2.40 in Boots.
I had completely forgotten about Boots' coconut and alumni shampoo and conditioner until a month or so ago when I red a review on Dooyoo about it. I used to use this s lot when I was a student as it was cheap and I love the smell. The shampoo comes in a clear 300ml bulbous bottle with a good flip top which is easy to open and dispense the shampoo from. The shampoo is a clear and quite think so it doesn't run out between your fingers. I use about a fifty pence blob to wash my hair so the bottle is lying a good length of time. The smell is delicious, just of coconut, you can't smell any almond and smells very natural, not like some coconut products which are very artificial smelling. I find the shampoo leaves my hair feeling really clean and smooth and for around £1.25 a bottle I would recommend it, although I do wonder if it leaves my hair feeling a little dry. The conditioner I have had less success with a need to use quite a lot to get my hair de-tangled. I'm sure when I bought it before it worked better, perhaps they changed they ingredients, or perhaps my hair has changed over time. My hair does smell lovely after using both these products together and I find I can smell the coconut on my hair all day, which is nice and makes me feel really clean. I like this shampoo and will buy it again although I think I would find myself an alternative coconut conditioner. There is an intensive conditioning mask in the range, which comes in a tub which I wouldn't mind trying too. A good buy for around £1.25, even better if you can get it on a 3 for 2 offer!
I used to have serious trouble sleeping and my doctor suggested I tried an "off the shelf" type sleeping pill so I got Nytol, which seems to be the most well known brand of pill to aid sleep. Unfortunately I never had very much success with it. I followed the instructions and took one tablet about 20 mins to half an hour before I went to bed. The tablets seemed to have very little effect, well that was until the next morning when they kicked in! So having not slept all night I would then be super sleepy around 6am the next morning and struggle to get up at all. I tried the tablets on a number of different occasions and then same thing happened. I even tried taking them a couple of hours before I went to bed, which I think made them work somewhere in the middle of the night, which was an improvement, but I felt uncomfortable taking them earlier especially if I was driving. I don't know whether this problem is somehow specific to me, I had exactly the same problem when later the doctor's prescribed me prescription strength sleeping tablets too. I wonder if it is due to a slow digestion somehow of the chemicals. Anyway as I result I have never taken sleeping pills again and learned to sleep for myself. Checking online you can get Nytol for about £3.50 for 16 tableets, each containing 25mg of a chemical called Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride. Obviously this is not a drug to take before you are going to drive or operate as it is likely (you hope!) to make you drowsy. It's also a good idea to consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or taking other medication. Also, avoid alcohol. For me these really didn't work, I have spoken to other people who they seem to have worked much better for therefore I think it is down to the individual and the only way you can find out if it works for you is to try it. For £3.50 or so it's worth ago, just don't expect miracles!
I always used to buy the Savlon cream, but at some point probably about 10 years ago I become unable to get it. I think therefore it must have been phased out in favour of this antiseptic spray. At first I was a bit sceptical at using a spray, especially as I usually find sprays wasteful, but in actual fact application by spray is a much more hygienic way of dressing a wound. Unlike the cream you do not need to get your fingers in it for application, so there is no way you can transfer germs into it from your fingers and also from your fingers to the wound. I did find it took a bit of practice to get the spray on target and it is very cold to the skin it is applied, but I guess this can also soothe the area. After some practice it is possible to get a nice even coverage on the wound and as it is a dry spray I feel it aids healing as it is not keep the wound soft. You need to hold it about 10 inches away from the skin when spraying. It's very handy for kids and grazed knees etc. a quick spray and the wound is covered by an antiseptic film which you can then put a plaster over, or for smaller grazes leave it open to the air. I've also used it for burns, and the cold feeling on application is quite welcome and it does help the pain subside. A bottle of Savlon spray costs about £3 from Boots and surprising I find it lasts quite a long time, I think I have had my current bottle around two years. It therefore seems to be good value too. I'm going to give it 5/5, it's another essential for my first aid kit.
I'm not a great plaster fan only using them when absolutely necessary as I feel they can finder the healing process. However, there are certain times when plasters are an essential, like for blisters caused by shoes or for my kid's knees when they fall over. I always buy Elastoplast plasters as these seem to stay stuck the best out of all the types I have tried. You may pay a little bit more, but this works out better value if they stay stuck for longer. There are 40 of varies shapes and sizes in this packet, which is helpful, but also invariably there is always one size and shape which doesn't get used. Before I had kids the plaster which least got used was the biggest, however this plaster proves to be very useful for grazed knees. The one I therefore now least use is the smallest round ones, which I guess are for blisters, however I never find they stay stuck for that long. The best plasters are the "average" size ones of about 2x7cm as these seem to be most flexible in their use and are always the ones I run out of first. These plasters are water repellent, although it would be quite rare that we actually need water repellent plasters and also I find that they do leak slightly down the sides. Cuts and grazes are best washed in the bath rather than left covered and also if the water does leak if you end up with a soggy scabs which is not good. I would much rather let the air get to the wound and dry it out naturally although these plasters are supposed to be breathable. Plasters are however helpful for kids as they are more prone to knocking their grazes and also plasters help keep cuts and grazes clean during the day and I can vouch that they are dirt repellent! I have to say I am quite mean and refuse to buy themed plasters. I can't see the point of the extra cost, plus then I would have to buy too types as I am sure my husband wouldn't be too impressed if he had to go around with a Barbie plaster on his finger! I also don't like the material, I think they remind me of school and I don't like the feel, hence I always buy the waterproof plastic feeling ones. I do like the cushiony wound pad on these plasters, which is quite think and comfortable on the wound. I also don't find the wound pad sticks to the wound like with other plasters, which is horrible and can be very painful to get off. I don't however like pulling plasters off, they act like wax strips and these plasters do stick very well! I do like these plasters, well as much as I can like a plaster and there are always a few in my handbag for emergencies. They are one of those must-have first aid consumables.
I've had my WHSmith stapler for quite a number of years now, I don't use it much but it is a desk draw essential. I can't remember how much I paid, all I do know is I wouldn't have paid that much for a stapler, so it was probably one of the cheapest in the shop, I am guessing around £6 or £7. This is what I would call a "normal" sized stapler, it's not one of the mini kind, but it also isn't for really large documents, or long arm for stapling in the middle of A3. It also takes the "normal" sized staples, which I think are 26/6. The stapler either came with an extra box of staples or I bought some at the same time as purchasing it as I have never replaced them. I think they are quite cheap to replace at about £1 for a box of 1000. This stapler will staple through quite a number of pages of paper at one time, perhaps around 15, which for me is usually enough. Sometimes if I am stapling a really thick document and the staple doesn't seem that secure I turn the document over and staple it from the backside too. I have never had any problems with the stapler's functioning. It's a simple but efficient design where the top of the stapler lifts and a spring pulls the stop back from the staple try so you can add more staples. I also haven't had any jamming problems or issues where more than one staple has tried to come out at one, which is something I have found with other staplers. The stapler is easy to push down with one had and not much pressure, so it's suitable for children to use (slightly older ones) or for old people. All in all this is a good plastic stapler.
I don't drink much but I do like the odd tot of whiskey. I only ever buy Glenfeddich and one bottle lasts us quite a while, around a year. I use it more for its "medicinal" purposes, I find it's good for sore throats and mouth ulcers, numbs the pain, and if I have been sleeping badly I find a tot before bedtime helps me get a better night's sleep. ~About Glenfeddich~ Glenfeddich comes in a range of blends and ages. The most delicious blend of all is the whiskey liqueur, however this seems to be impossible to purchase in England. Usually I buy the "Special Reserve 12 Year Old" blend which is a good compromise between cost and taste, however when my last bottle ran out, a couple of months ago I replaced it with the 15 year reserve Solera, which is more expensive at around £32 per 70cl compared with around £26 for the 12 year reserve. Glenfeddich is also available in reserves of 15, 18, 21 and even 50 years, however the price goes up dramatically with age. As we drink very little I thought it would be worth trying the more expensive version, plus I had a voucher for Waitrose which help out with the cost. There is a difference and the 15 year is definitely more fruity and smoother than the 12 year reserve and is much more spicy, as in tradition spice and not curry! ~How Do You Make Glenfeddich?~ 1) Malting and fermentation: Ripe barley is steeped in water for two days, which triggers germination. The barley is then left to germinate for four to five days, which starts the conversion of natural starch into sugar. This results in 'green malt' which is then dried over fire, and delivered to the Distillery as malted barley. 2) Inside the Mash House: there are two essential ingredients in Glenfiddich's single malt whiskey, barley and soft clear water. The barley is malted into 'grist', a coarse flour which is then mixed with sprin water from the nearby Conval Hills. It is then poured into giant mash tuns which mash and sift to ensure good sugar drainage. Heat completes the process of turning starch to sugar, which dissolves the water producing a sweet liquid called 'wort'. The wort is drained and cooled and made ready for fermentation. 3) Fermentation Fermentation takes place in the 'washbacks' where yeast is added to the wort as it is pumped from a cooler into the washback fermentation vessels. As fermentation takes place the liquid heats to around 33 degrees Celsius bubbling and creating a large frothy head of foam. After 64 hours the bubbling subsides leaving a brown liquid similar to beer called 'wash'. 4) Distillation: this takes place in the still house, where the wash is distiller in copper pots stills. The stills are heated by direct fire from under the base of the still and the still is gradually heated until the alcohol turns to vapour. The vapour the rises through a narrowing funnel into a water-cooled condenser where the vapour turns into an immediate liquid know as 'low wines'. This low wines contains about 21% alcohol. The process is then repeated in smaller stills this time trickling into a brass and glass 'spirit safe' - whiskey has now been born. 5) Coopering and Maturation: At this point the spirit is reduced to around 63% alcohol by adding the spring water into oak casts. The oak casts mature and mellow the whiskey allowing it to breathe, soften and assume subtle flavours. The alcohol is realised from the cask at roughly 2% every year to around 40% for the 15 year matured whiskey. Finally, the whiskey is bottled and distributed all over the world. ~History~ Glenfeddich Distillery was funded in 1886 by William Grant by the River Feddich. Glenfeddich is distilled in pre-used oak caskets often used before for making rum in the Caribbean, barrels from American Bourbon whiskey or sherry butts from Spain. This is still the case today. It is sold in 180 countries worldwide and accounts for 35% of all single malt whiskies sold. ~How Does it Smell and Taste?~ Great! I love the aroma, which is strong and fruity. It's strong stuff at 40% and I find a good sniff of it will clear the airways! The taste is as pungent as the smell, its by no means subtle with a sweet fruity flavour of malt and tones from the oak casket along with a nice scent of spice. It gives my mouth a shock on entering and then a rather satisfying warmth followed by a slight numbness. It's a very smooth whiskey and one of the most drinkable brands I've tried. After tones from the whisky are slightly spicy and almost with a hint of cocoa. ~Summary~ It's a must have for my alcohol collection, it's not cheap at around more than £30 for a 70cl bottle, and as a bottle lasts about a year it doesn't facilitate an expensive drinking habit, more of a much deserved odd sniffle.
I have a number of Bic biro pens scattered over my desk, as I am writing I can see at least two black ones and a green one poking out from underneath my piles of paperwork, I also keep one in my handbag. These are very basic ballpoint pens, a clear plastic barrel with a metal nib and a lid which matches the colour of the ink. These pens must be cheap to manufacture, they are cheap to buy, a pack of 10 costs around £2, although mine are all from the store cupboard at work. As they are cheap I don't mind if I loose the odd one, however most of the time they end up down the back of my desk, I can see one there now! These pens last a long time, I usually loose it before the ink runs out. As the barrel is clean you can see the cartridge inside so know how much ink is left. It is possible to take the pen completely apart, although not that easy on the fingernails, however there would be no point refilling with a new cartridge, these are meant as disposable pens. I notice that my pens have written on the "BIC" and then "medium" which I can only think refers to the nib and flow of the ink. These are nice to write with, not gritty and they don't dig up the page. If not used for a while I do find I need to scribble a bit before using to get the ink flowing again. The ink dries very quickly but not instantly so don't touch it or it'll smudge for 10 secs or so. My favourite Bic biro colour is the green one, which is a nice bright jade green colour and useful when I am marking printed black and white documents as I can easily see where I have reviewed. They also come in black, red and blue. All in all a great basic which can probably found on millions of desks all over the UK!
Lavender is one of my favourite floral scents, it's clean and fresh smelling as well as vibrant but relaxing. I am aware lavender seems to be quite a controversial smell that many people really don't like - it seems to be like Marmite, you either love or hate it. I love it, as does the rest of my family, which is good as you can't escape the pungent smell of lavender easily. My main reason for buying lavender oil, other than I just like to smell it is for relaxation purposes, it's good for helping you sleep. I either use a few drops on my pillow before I go to bed or I put a few drops into a bowl of boiling water which helps the scent disperse around the lounge whilst I am watching TV or reading in the evening which helps me relax, thus sleep better at night. Holland and Barrett's is my nearest health store, so I go there to get these sort of products. I find this store usually has what I want, at a reasonable price, often with lots of offers. I have a 10ml bottle which I think cost about £5, although I have had it over a year now, as uses just a few drops at a time it does seem to go a long way. The bottle is small, with dark brown glass, in the usual aromatherapy style and shape. It has a plastic screw top lid under which there is a rim which catches allows the drops to come out evenly without waste. If you use lavender oil on your skin, and it is one aromatherapy oil you can use neat on unbroken skin, it feels very slightly greasy, but soon soaks in. It's good for burns and I use if I have a minor burn on my finger from cooking. A drop soothes the skin and calms the burning sensation quickly, plus the smell is very enchanting. You can obviously use it in aromatherapy massage oil, I have some almond message oil and occasionally have used it on my husband's bad shoulder. You can also mix lavender oil with other scents, although I like it by itself. More recently I had the idea of putting it in the bath, don't know why I didn't think of that before, which makes for a very relaxing bathe, however I put a bit much in the once and it did make the sides of the bath a little grimy! Lavender is a great antiseptic so I did find that it is good if I am shaving my legs as it seems to stop me getting shaving rash. I am sure there are many more uses for lavender oil, it's a very usual oil to keep in and I wouldn't be without mine. All in all great value and a great smell!
I bought my Ikea clothes rack around 10 years ago when I was a student living in halls of residence. I needed more space to keep my stuff went to Ikea and decided this was the best option. Although technically it seems to be for hanging clothes I bought the material shelves to hang from it do I kept jumpers etc. in these shelves as well as paperwork and general stuff. I have two hanging shelves for my Ikea rack, I kept one at each side of the clothes hanging pole and in the middle between them I hung things like jackets and coats. This whole contraption was extremely useful as was a cheap solution to having little storage space. The rack came boxed up and although a little cumbersome I managed to get it home on the tube and then the bus! As with all Ikea stuff it was flat packed and needed assembling, luckily I am quite good at this so it wouldn't have taken me very long and I don't remember it being that difficult either. The rack is made out of metal poles, with four plastic casters so it can be wheeled around and two plastic joints on the top of the two poles sticking up from the bottom section which enable you to change the height of the clothes hanging pole. There are double poles running along on the bottom of the farm, which means that they can act as a shoe rack, or a place to stack boxes, which is useful. The rack is quite sturdy although it does need tightening from time to time so keep the alum keys! Usually it is fairly obviously that the rack needs tightening as you can see that the rack is lopsided, leaning to one side. The clothes rail will take a lot of weight conspiring how much stuff, including paperwork I had hanging in my shelves from the rail. This was a super handy rack which I couldn't have done without in my university room. Since then my father has adapted this rack to go into one of our cupboards at home, he has made it less wide and now I just us it for hanging dresses. All in all this has proved a very good rack.
When it comes to painkillers for fairly mundane things like headaches, sore throats, mild pain relief for back ache etc. etc. I usually just take cheap paracetamol which I keep in. At home I have cheap ones I got from Waitrose but work a couple of months ago I had a horrible headache so popped into Boots which is conveniently opposite my office. These paracetamol where behind the chemist's counter, they are Boot's own brand, basic, no-frills tablets for a bargain price of 39p. I couldn't see the point of paying £2.99 for an upmarket version of a pack of 16 when I could get 16 bog standard ones for a mere 39p. Each tablet is 500ml and the usual instructions apply of up to two per dose for anyone over 12 years of age and no more than 4 doses in 24 hours. I took two tablets when I got neck to the office and the around 30 minutes later my headache was gone, so I was ate pleased! The tablets are the basic white powdery sort which can be split in two via the marking down the middle. A few weeks ago I needed my desk supply of paracetamol again for my siatica, again taking two which took the edge off the pain but didn't mask it completely. I was however very glad I had the tablets to hand. These tablets come in a cardboard box which has two tablet stripes inside, each holding eight tablets. The push out through the foil surface and were easy to push through despite the foil being quite thick. I think these paracetamol tablets wouldn't be so good with severe pains but for everyday inflections they definitely worth getting, especially at the cheap price of 39p.
I made the mistake of buying this cling film once, it was cheap around 50p and I truly got what I paid for - rubbish! Sainsbury's value range tends to be a bit hit and miss in my opinion, but I thought that you couldn't really go wrong with a cling film. However the "design" of this one is utterly flawed! My main problem with it is it's really thin so you can very easily stick your finger through it, or it snags on what you are trying to cover. I also found it hard to tear, you are supposed to use the perforated cardboard on the side of the box but all this does is stretch the cling film out! I resulted to cutting it with scissors as it was the only way of getting from the roll in any vaguely unsnagged, unstressed format. Another problem is this cling film doesn't cling! To get it to stay on the vessel or food I was covering the cling film had to be completely touching itself, it would vogueing cling to itself although it need quite a bit of helpanne I would sort of roll the edges together. Sometimes wrapping the film around the item twice would keep it in place. Basically you need so much film to make it cling it works out super false economy! I checked online and this roll is 45 metres long, it would be better being only half as long but twice as thick - I threw mine out before I used it up. It comes in a long thin cardboard box as with most cling films with the usual Sainsbury "basic" brand logos/colours and was a standard width for wrapping film of around 30cm. There is a reason it's so cheap, it's useless!!! I think this has to be the worst item i have reviewed yet. It deserves a big fat 0 stars but unfortunately the system makes me give it one.